Belfast Telegraph

Cancer battle Ashlee Blair’s love and creativity live on, funeral told

Ashlee Blair
Ashlee Blair
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

Mourners have been told that a Co Antrim mother-of-three who lost her battle against cancer will live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew her.

Addressing those who had gathered in Roselawn crematorium to celebrate the life of Ashlee Blair (30), Stuart Holden said the care assistant lived for her three children, Amelia (4), Peter (3) and Conor (2), and her partner Peter (30).

"Everything in life revolved around those she adored," he said.

"All of that love and even Ashlee's mannerisms and creativity lives on through her children."

Mr Holden said that even Peter, who follows his dad's obsession with cars, has "a good dose of Ashlee in there" too.

The couple, from Greenisland, met at college when they were 17 and were "absolutely thrilled" when their first child came along shortly after they moved in together.

But their lives were turned upside down when Ashlee was diagnosed with stage four cancer in December, just months after being declared disease-free following a 2016 breast cancer diagnosis that resulted in a double mastectomy.

A GoFundMe page was set up in a desperate effort to buy more time "to watch my babies grow" and Ashlee recorded herself reading bedtime stories in fear of the worst, which happened on March 5 when she passed away surrounded by her family.

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Smile: Ashlee with Peter and Amelia

Mr Holden praised the residents of the village and beyond for the outpouring of love and financial support, which has now exceeded the £10,000 target.

"She couldn't thank all of you enough in return," he added.

"All the amazing fundraising with 'Ashlee's Army' and simply by being there for her and for her family."

Mourners were then told that they have the power to ensure that Ashlee's legacy lives on.

"From this day onward, the responsibility lies with everyone here not to hesitate for a moment to talk about Ashlee," Mr Holden said. "To keep her name in the conversation and make sure she is never ever forgotten, that's something everyone can promise themselves to do."

Loved ones, including Ashlee's children, wept as they said goodbye for the final time with "sorrow, respect, love and admiration" in what was described as "desperately sad" circumstances.

"Ashlee's memory is committed safely into your hearts and the things that mattered to her into your minds," Mr Holden said. "We rejoice that Ashlee lived and with love we bid her farewell."

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